Land of the Red Rocks

The 'Terres rouges' (Land of the Red Rocks) or 'Minett' region in southern Luxembourg owes its name to the iron ore deposits discovered here in the 19th century. For many years, the steel industry was a driving force for Luxembourg's economic development. The region's landscape is still dominated by imposing industrial installations such as the blast furnaces in Esch-Belval.

© Claude Piscitelli
Over time, the steel industry gradually lost ground in Luxembourg, as it did in other neighbouring regions. Nowadays, the country's steel industry has been reduced to just a handful of production sites, and the former industrial plants are now part of the region's heritage, such as the 'Fond-de-Gras' park near Lasauvage.

© Claude Piscitelli
Although the steel industry has lost its once powerful grip, its imprint is on the region's architecture is clearly visible.

© SIP / Tim Lecomte
The town of Esch-sur-Alzette is the capital of the Minett region. Once the heyday of the steel industry had passed, the town successfully drew on its rich heritage and multicultural society, reinventing itself as a cultural and commercial centre and consolidating its position as the country's second biggest town after Luxembourg City. Esch's 'Gaalgebierg' municipal park is a relaxing green space that is much loved by those living in and around the town.

© Ville d'Esch-sur-Alzette
Most of the former production sites in the south of the country have now become commercial and/or residential areas. A striking example is the Esch-Belval site, one of the largest urban development projects in Europe, which now houses shops, housing and a number of prestigious cultural, administrative, academic and scientific institutions, including one of the campuses of the University of Luxembourg.

© Claude Piscitelli
Other industrial sites have been reconverted into protected nature areas, such as the 'Giele Botter', a former open-cast mine that is now part of the 'Prënzebierg' conservation area and is home to a wide variety of biotopes and rare species.

© SIP / Géry Oth
  • Updated 20-11-2017